This one was over shortly after the opening tip, and the Philadelphia 76ers coasted to a 89-72 victory over the lowly Charlotte Bobcats.
The 76ers, now 13-6, have not lost two games in a row this season and bounced back from Wednesday’s overtime loss to the New Jersey Nets with a dominating first quarter in which they only allowed the Bobcats to score ten points.
Philadelphia jumped out to a quick start with Jrue Holiday scoring seven of his 15 points in the first frame. Holiday could have been a little more motivated with over 16,000 fans, including new part-owner Will Smith and his family, coming out to the Wells Fargo Center for a Jrue Holiday bobblehead giveaway.
Lou Williams led the 76ers with 17 points off the bench and Jodie Meeks added all 14 of his points in the first half that saw the 76ers take score 59 points and shoot over 57% from three point range. With a big halftime lead, the 76ers were able to play a lot of their reserves in the second half and give some players a much earned break. In such a season where there are only 66 games and teams are playing almost every other night, finding time to give players like Elton Brand and Andre Iguodala a rest might be just as valuable as their contributions on the court.
Brand is averaging a career-low 28 minutes per game, as well as points per game at just over 11 PPG, but the veteran knows his presence on this team means more than how many points he scores and will surely see his minutes increase when the 76ers start facing some better competition. With quality minutes from rookie big men Lavoy Allen and Nikola Vucevic early in the season, the 76ers are able to get their young players acclimated to the NBA while not losing a beat as a team.
Though the 76ers are thrilled with the minutes Allen has been able to give them, they know their depth in the frontcourt is thin with Spencer Hawes and Vucevic nursing injuries. Addressing that, the 76ers brought in journeyman Francisco Elson for his second stint with the team and while not much is expected out of Elson, he will be able to help out the 13-year veteran Tony Battie until Hawes or Vucevic return (hopefully next week).
It would’ve been nice to have an extra big man around during the Nets’ game when the 76ers were being man-handled by Dwight Howard Kris Humphries.
Kemba Walker led the 3-17 Bobcats with 14 points and 8 rebounds, but the Bobcats stood no chance at threatening the 76ers’ lead at any point in this game. The Bobcats returned two Philadelphia area players in Episcopal Academy’s Gerald Henderson and Hatboro-Horsham’s Matt Carroll. While Henderson starred at Duke University, his game is still evolving in the NBA and this season is his first as a regular starter for the Bobcats. Averaging over 15 PPG so far this season, Henderson had one of his worst games of the year in Friday night’s homecoming with just 2-of-10 shooting from the field. Carroll, a deep reserve for the Bobcats, made the most of his playing time with 11 points.
About the Author
Written by Mike Rapine
Graduated last year from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Mathematics with a focus in Statistics. I was a member of their baseball team and overall have a sense of sports from not just the average fan's perspective. Born and raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia, where we fall in love with our sports teams each year, despite the preconceptions of a playoff demise ultimately happening. Obviously, any opinions are personal in nature and should be taken as my own.